What is your role at Ag PTECH, and what special skills, talents and passion do you bring?
I am the school counselor at Ag PTECH. I grew up in this area and understand why agriculture is such a big part of our culture and community. I also grew up with the added bonus of having a parent who was an agriculture teacher and instilled values in us at a very young age to respect and protect the environment around us.
What is your vision for Ag PTECH?
I would love to see Ag PTECH as a place that students strive to be at and learn new things every day.
Tell us about your career background.
School counseling was not my original career plan. My original career plan was to do something in International Relations. However, after I graduated college, my first job experience was as a college access counselor. With this job, I took students to visit different college campuses, helped them with college applications and financial aid applications, and we spoke a lot about what they wanted to do in their future careers. By doing all of this, it made me realize that being a school counselor and working with high school students was what I really wanted to do. I received my school counseling degree from the Esteves School of Education at Sage Graduate School in Troy, New York. From there, I did many long-term leave positions in many HFM BOCES districts. Before coming to Ag PTECH, I worked full time in Bennington, Vermont, at Mount Anthony Union High School as a high school counselor. I am very appreciative of my experience in Bennington because it taught me a lot about being a school counselor. But as soon as I heard that another PTECH was opening in the area and the focus was going to be in agriculture, I jumped at the chance to be a part of this opportunity.
Why did you choose education, and what do you enjoy most about it?
I enjoy being a school counselor because every day is different. I am able to meet with students one on one and really get to know them and their stories. All of our students have something to share, and I want to make them feel as if their stories are being heard and appreciated. I also love being a school counselor because I am able to follow my students right through their high school career starting in ninth grade and ending when they are ready to graduate and make their own mark in the world.
What are some of your interests outside of work?
Outside of work, I love to spend time with family and friends. I am an avid reader, and I would have to say that my guilty pleasure is bad reality TV.
If you could talk to your 15-year-old self about life, careers and happiness, what advice would you give?
When I was 15, I wanted to literally be anywhere but here in this area. I could not wait to go to college and experience new things. However, currently, I am back in my hometown area doing something I absolutely love, and I could not be happier. In hindsight, I would tell my 15-year-old self to be patient, go experience everything that you want/need to, but do not forget that coming home again is always an option, and it might turn out to be the best option.